A Mighty Girl's top picks of fantasy novels starring heroic girls and women!
One of the great powers of reading is that you can be transported into imaginary worlds: world where magic is real, where fantastical beasts roam freely, and where your hero may have the chance to save the entire world! Fantasy novels were long considered to be the domain of male protagonists — sword-swinging barbarians and clever wizards — but modern fantasy authors often put their Mighty Girl characters at the center of the story!
To help you discover the best girl-empowering fantasy books for tweens and teens, in this blog post, we've showcased our favorite fantasy novels starring Mighty Girl characters. From dragon-tamers to magical beings, from daring knights to pirate queens, these Mighty Girls set forth to discover their world, defeat the villains, and save the day. Whatever a reader's taste, we're confident you'll find a title here that will keep her flipping pages to the very end!
To discover more girl-empowering fantasy novels, you can find hundreds of titles in our main Fantasy Collection.
Mighty Girl Fantasy Novels
Miri is the only non-twin in a family of five kids, and there are times she feels downright out of place. Then, she discovers a surprising property of her bedroom in the family's new home, an old farmhouse: somehow, she manages to transport herself back to 1935, where she meets Molly, a girl her own age who desperately needs to escape her abusive life. The two become fast friends, but when Miri accidentally goes back to her own time — without Molly — she has to figure out how to get back to Molly and maybe even end up with the sister she's always wanted. This fast-paced and magical story is sure to delight young readers who have wondered what secrets might lurk in their own home. Fans of this story can follow Miri and Molly in the sequel, Magic in the Mix.
Once upon a time, Snow and Rose lived in a big house with servants, and had a mother and father who loved them. But one day, her father never returned from the woods... and her mother was paralyzed by sadness. In their new cottage in the forest, they meet a new friend, and begin to discover the forest's mysteries. Perhaps if they work together, these sisters can break the terrible spells that rule it... and find a happy ending. This innovative retelling of the fairy tale "Snow White and Rose Red" features a pair of different but deeply loving sisters on a quest for home and family.
Every Beaumont knows that when they turn 13, they develop a savvy, a magical power — and with brothers who create electricity and hurricanes, Mibs is hoping for something amazing. But one day before her birthday, Poppa is in a terrible accident, and now all she wants is a savvy that will save him. Confident that her coming savvy will address the situation, she sneaks onto a salesman's bus — followed by her sibling and the preacher's kids — with plans to get to the hospital. But when the bus is going the wrong way, and Mibs' savvy doesn't turn out to be what she expected, she'll have to figure out what to do about the mess she's made. Fans of this volume can follow the adventures of the Beaumont family in Scumble and Switch.
Five years after her first visit to her grandmother's house in Australia, Livy is back — and feels like there's something important she's forgotten about her last trip. What she forgot was Bob: a small, mysterious being dressed in a chicken suit. She promised to help find his family… and Bob remembers her promise, even if he doesn't remember his way home. Together, Livy and Bob will have to puzzle out the clues to where Bob comes from — and along the way, they'll learn truths about both love and the joys of childhood. Told in alternating chapters in Livy and Bob's perspectives, this irresistible story explores friendship, belonging, and the magic of storytelling.
Ronia is the celebrated daughter of Matt, leader of a ferocious band of robbers, but she’s happiest alone, exploring the deep forest. There, she meets Birk, the son of Matt’s greatest rival, Borka, and the two become unexpected friends. But when new hostilities break out between two bands, Ronia is faced with conflicting loyalties when her father wants to use Birk as a hostage to force his rival’s surrender. Can Ronia and Birk find a way to reconcile the two robber barons, or will they have to choose between friendship and family? This book by Astrid Lindgren, author of Pippi Longstocking, is full of adventure and suspense.
Princess Tilda dreams of running away from her princess responsibilities: between her love of books and being "cursed" with a crippled foot, she doesn't see herself ruling a kingdom. But when her cousin Ivo usurps her kingdom and holds her hostage, Tilda finds herself on a new path. Alongside her handmaiden and a failed squire, they set off on a quest to find and slay dragons — one which will challenge everything Tilda knows about her own capabilities and how she feels about her role as a leader. This engaging fantasy celebrates a Mighty Girl who loves books and swords at the same time.
Leonora's mother, aunt, and older sisters run the best bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, and Leonora wants to help prepare for Dia de los Muertos — but once again, they tell her she's too young. One day, when Leo sneaks down to the bakery, she learns why: they are all brujas, witches of Mexican ancestry, and they bake a little delicious magic into every bite! Leo's sure she's old enough to learn magic too, so when her best friend has a problem, she decides to dig into the family recipe book. But Leo doesn't read Spanish, so deciphering the recipes isn't easy... and when things go awry, Leo learns that her family will support her but she has to fix her own mistakes! This charming story effortlessly weaves together Mexican, Texan, and American cultures and adds a dash of mystery and magic to delightful effect. Leonora and her family return in the sequel, A Sprinkle of Spirits.
Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She's not afraid of anything... except magic. But when Red's granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her. With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance named Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny, through dwarves' caverns to a haunted well and a beast's castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman — two mortal enemies who seek the girls' help to defeat each other. Leisl Shurtliff expands on Red's appearance in her debut novel Rump in this unique retelling.
12-year-old Rebecca is dealing with a lot: her parents have separated and she's just finished a sudden move across states to her grandmother's house. But when she's exploring Gran's attic, Rebecca discovers a breadbox — a magical one. Wish for something and it will appear... but only if it fits inside. At first, the breadbox seems to give Rebecca everything she's ever wanted: an iPod, a TV, new clothes, chocolates, and more. But where are these gifts coming from? And can the things that will make Rebecca happy again really come out of a breadbox? Author Laurel Snyder drew on her own experiences as the child of divorcing parents, and added a touch of magic, to create this complex coming-of-age story.
Once, Luna's village was beside a beautiful flowing river, but ever since the dam was built it's been a grim, cursed swamp. Granny Tu mourns the loss of the river's sprites and fairies, but Luna only believes in the things she can see and hear. However, when her beloved sister falls in the swamp and becomes desperately ill — doomed to die just like their father did years ago — Luna refuses to accept her sister's fate. To save her beloved sister, she'll do anything... even believing in magic long enough to find the watery roadways that might lead to another world. Tweens will devour this story of dark magic, adventure, and sisterly love.
Everyone in 11-year-old Cady's world has a Talent, a semi-magical ability. In Cady's case, she has a gift for making cakes: just by looking at someone, she knows exactly what they'd like. It seems like a mundane (if delicious) ability, but it will lead Cady on an unexpected journey, out of the orphanage where kindly Miss Mallory has been struggling to find a family for her, to a lost-luggage emporium, a family of children searching for their own Talents, and a mysterious Talent Thief. And maybe, to truth about how Cady became an orphan — and even to a long-lost parent. Fans of this magical world can return to it in A Clatter of Jars.
Princess Celie loves living in Castle Glower, and she especially loves Tuesdays, the day that a new room, turret, or wing magically appears! No one can guess what the castle will do next, and Celie is the only one who ever takes the time to map the new additions. And, when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and foreign interlopers appear to try to claim the kingdom, Celie's intimate knowledge of the castle will be key to protecting herself, her family, and her people. Celie's unique friendship with the magical castle provides fodder for all sorts of fun adventures in this charming story! You can continue Celie's adventures in Wednesdays in the Tower, Thursdays with the Crown, Fridays with the Wizards, and Saturdays at Sea.
Minli lives in the valley of the Fruitless Mountain, where she and her parents struggle to survive. At night, her father tells her miraculous tales about the Jade Dragon and the Old Man in the Moon, who holds everyone's destiny, but her mother is too busy worrying to enjoy the stories. So one day, Minli decides that she will find the Old Man in the Moon and change her family's fortune. Along the way, she befriends a talking fish, a flightless dragon, and more amazing creatures... but when she reaches the Old Man, she will have to decide whether asking for riches for herself and her family is the best use of a chance to change fate. Inspired by Chinese folktales and full of vibrant illustrations, this unique story teaches an important lesson about greed and happiness. Fans of this book can check out the companion, When The Sea Turned To Silver.
At birth, Ella was given the "gift" of obedience by a foolish fairy; as a result, she cannot refuse any order given to her, no matter what it is — or who gives it to her. Ella's stepmother and stepsisters are more than happy to take advantage of her curse, but Ella is not content to accept her fate. Instead, she sets out to find a way to reverse the curse and spell... and find her own happiness. This Newbery Honor book plays with many aspects of the traditional Cinderella story, but at its heart is an independent, determined heroine who ultimate frees herself.
Tuesday's mother, Serendipity, is a famous author — and now she's missing. So Tuesday and her dog Baxterr set out to find her, and discover the mysterious, unpredictable place that stories come from. In order to rescue her mother — and get to The End — Tuesday will have to make new friends, learn to sail a magical boat, defeat a dangerous pirate, learn the truth about her definitely-not-ordinary dog, and get in touch with her creative side to find the power in storytelling. This magical adventure plays with narrative structure and the creative process, all while communicating a message about the power of finding your own voice. Serendipity's story continues in the sequel, A Week Without Tuesday.
Princesses Meryl and Addie are as different as they could be: Meryl is brave and adventurous, dreaming of fighting dragons and saving the kingdom, while Addie is shy and fearful and just wants to stay safe inside the castle. When the Gray Death plague strikes, though, and Meryl is fatally ill, Addie has to overcome her fear and attempt to fulfill an ancient prophecy, not just to save her sister, but the whole kingdom. Setting off alone with a selection of magical items to help her on her way, Addie will find the courage to defeat spectres, ogres, and even a dragon! Fans of this book will want to check out the prequel, The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre.
In Cecilia's world, souls of the dead go to the Land of Yesterday, and after a tragic accident, her little brother, Celadon, is one of them. Worse, her house's spirit, Widdendream — and Cecilia herself — believe Celadon's death is her fault. When Cecilia's mother decides to follow Celadon into Yesterday, Cecilia and her father resolve to rescue her, but Widdendream decides the quest should be Cecilia's alone. As she ventures into yesterday, Cecilia faces the most difficult journey of her life... one from which she may never return. This imaginative story in a compelling world full of metaphors for loss and grief is rich with gentle magic.
When Sabrina and Daphne go to live with their mysterious grandmother, Relda Grimm, they discover a surprising family tradition: work as fairy-tale detectives! Since the time of their ancestors, the Brothers Grimm — whose fairy tales were actually case files — the family has kept tabs on the Everafters... some of whom are good and some of whom are very, very bad. And when a malicious Everafter sets a giant loose on their rural New York town, it's time for Sabrina and Daphne to take up the mantle and solve the mystery! Fans will particularly enjoy spotting the many fairy-tale references in this whimsical and clever book. And if she loves the first book, the story of the Sisters Grimm continues in their second book, The Unusual Suspects.
Rory Landon's parents are celebrities, so when she arrives at a new after-school program and nobody knows who she is, she realizes that there's something strange about the people here. When the fire-breathing dragon shows up, she knows she's in for a real adventure! It turns out that Ever After School could care less about famous people from our world: they're more interested in fairy tale heroes like Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, and Rumplestiltskin, who sometimes even show up to teach a class or two. Now Rory is in a fairy tale of her own...so hopefully she's up to the challenge! The first volume of the Ever Afters series is full of fun, magic, and adventure. Fans of the first book can check out the next, Of Witches and Wind.
Kiranmala's parents have always told her that she's a real Indian princess, and she's always rolled her eyes... until the morning of her twelfth birthday, when her parents disappear and a rakkhosh demon smashes into the kitchen of her New Jersey home! Then, two handsome princes show up at her door, insisting they are here to rescue her. As Kiran gets whisked away to a dimension of magic, wonder, and creatures she thought were Indian fairy tales, she'll have to learn fast to avoid the Serpent King and the Rakkhoshi Queen, find her parents, and save the world. Full of action, mythology, and magic, this book is a thrilling and fast-paced introduction to Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond; Kiran returns in the second book, Game of Stars.
For years, 12-year-old Drest has trained as a warrior, but has been protected by her father, the Mad Wolf of the North, and her five loving brothers, the mainstay of his early 13th century Scottish warband. But when her father and brothers are captured by invading knights — and scheduled to be executed in five days — Drest comes up with a daring rescue plan: travel to Faintree Castle and trade an injured knight for their freedom. On the dangerous journey, she meets allies and enemies alike, and starts to hear stories about her father and brothers that contradict her image of them as just and moral warriors. Drest will have to race against time through a world she's never navigated alone if she's going to learn the truth about her family and save the day. This fast-paced and riveting adventure story explores the complexity of morality, friendship, and family loyalty. Drest's adventures continue in the sequel, The Hunt for the Mad Wolf's Daughter.
12-year-old Evangeline Clement is a haunt huntress apprentice: she's devoting herself to learning folk magic and monster hunting, just like her female ancestors before her. She's confident that her animal familiar is due to appear any time, but the council isn't quite sure that she's ready. Then Evangeline and her grandmother are sent to investigate a case in New Orleans, where she unwittingly ends up with an unwanted sidekick: Julian, the skeptical son of the woman in peril who thinks monsters are a load of bunk. Can Evangeline prove herself (and prove the truth to Julian), save the day, and finally become a full haunt huntress? Charming characters and a vibrant setting add extra fun to this story about friendship, loyalty, and trusting your gut.
12-year-old Sophie knows little beyond the four walls of her father's bookshop, where she repairs old books and dreams of escaping the confines of her dull life. But when a strange boy, Peter Nimble, and his talking cat/horse companion show up with a rare and mysterious book, she finds herself pulled into a real-life adventure beyond anything she has ever read! This companion to Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes introduces an intriguing new Mighty Girl character to Jonathan Auxier's fascinating world of magic and mystery.
In the City of Islands, 12-year-old Mara earns her keep by diving for treasures for the Lady of the Tides. Then she discovers skeletons of strange creatures — ones that exude a powerful spell-song. Mara hopes that her discovery will convince the Lady to let her study magic, but instead, she orders Mara to sneak into the Winter Blade, the island's notorious fortress. As she dives, though, Mara learns shocking truths about both her city and herself. But perhaps, her discoveries will also allow her to create a new definition of family — one that gives her what she's really been searching for. Readers will root for Mara as she dives every deeper into her vibrant world full of intrigue and magic.
Every night, little lights appear in Sandy's bedroom — lights that she transforms into companions to play with until she falls asleep. The next day, she's always captivated trying to draw her nighttime friends. One day, a girl with purple hair arrives at her school, and to Sandy's surprise, Morfie seems to know all about Sandy's lights. But when it turns out that Morfie intends to enter Sandy's night world and take it over, Sandy will have to muster all of her confidence and determination to fight off the invader. Exquisitely illustrated, this thoughtful graphic novel will prompt discussions about creativity, insecurity, and gaining control of your fears.
Corinne La Mer isn't afraid of the jumbies — they're just stories made up by parents! Except that one night, she sees a pair of yellow eyes near the forbidden forest. The next day, a beautiful but strange woman named Severine shows up at Corinne's house. She's going to claim the entire island for the jumbies — unless Corinne can stop her. Corinne has courage aplenty and friends to stand by her sides — but how can an ordinary girl save her island against this magical force? Unless, of course, she has magic of her own... An action-packed story and vibrant Caribbean setting will delight middle grade readers. Readers can follow Corinne's adventures in Rise of the Jumbies and The Jumbie God's Revenge.
Only Fallow has a miraculous gift of seeing lies — but in exchange, telling them causes her terrible pain. While her family tries to keep her ability a secret, it's only a matter of time before the King hears word and forcibly brings her to the Bellskeep castle, where she is ordered to help the King identify his enemies. Her travels as the King's Mayquin, or truth seeker, show her how many traitors lurk around them... but also how much of the world lies beyond her family's doorstep. This memorable coming of age story follows Only as she gradually develops a new, more nuanced vision of her world — one that includes a realistic understanding of its injustices. Only's story concludes in Riverbound.
When Olive and her parents move into a mysterious mansion full of old paintings, she can't help but feel that there's something wrong with the house. When she bumps into the house's three talking cats, she realizes that there's dark magic at play, and when she discovers a pair of antique glasses that let her jump into the paintings to Elsewhere, a quiet and strangely sinister world, she starts to wonder if she's in over her head. There's a power in Elsewhere that wants to be rid of her, and it's not clear if the cats are really on her side... Spooky and magical, this is a series debut that's not to be missed. Fans of the series can continue Olive's adventures in Spellbound.
Aventurine is sick of her family treating her like a baby hatchling, so she decides to prove she's ready for the outside world by capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human. But her hunt exposes her to a sweet aroma, and with one taste of enchanted hot chocolate, she's transformed into a weak, vulnerable 12-year-old girl! Her mistake, though, has also given her a new passion: she will become a chocolate apprentice and learn to make it herself. But can Aventurine figure out the human world well enough to reconcile her human and dragon identities... and can a mere chocolate apprentice save the kingdom? Fans of Aventurine's world can also check out the companion, The Girl with the Dragon Heart.
Twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow is determined to find her missing father, who always loved her even though she is pale and almost empty of color, out of place in a vibrant world full of magic. When Oliver Newbanks approaches her for help, she's skeptical, especially since he usually teases her about her appearance, but he says he knows where her father is. Together, the pair will travel into the dangerous land of Furthermore — but nothing there is as it seems. Can Alive find her father... and maybe even herself? This lush fantasy is rich and imaginative; fans of this book will want to check out the darker companion, Whichwood.
Charlie's needs always seem to come in last in her family — like right now, when she's struggling to save money for an outfit for her next Irish dancing competition. Then, while ice fishing one day, she comes across a big surprise: a fish who promises to grant her wishes. It seems like a great solution, but Charlie soon discovers that wishes are never quite granted the way she'd hoped. And when she faces the huge problem of her older sister's addiction, Charlie realizes that some things are too important for wishes: some things require hard work, sacrifice, and love. The magical twist to this story provides a gentle opportunity to talk about very real challenges that many tweens and teens face, making it an excellent conversation starter.
Mayka's family are all made of stone, brought to life by magical stories etched into their bodies. But even stone doesn't last forever, and now the marks are wearing away — so Mayka must find someone who can recarve the marks. The world beyond her home is full of joys and terrors, as well as unexpected friends — and when Mayka discovers a plot that endangers all the stone creatures, the need for a stonemason and storyteller is even more urgent... and the savior she needs might be herself. This rich and vivid fantasy explores the power of stories to shape our lives, and our power to shape our own stories.
Tiffany Aching is a dutiful (if grudging) big sister and a talented cheesemaker — but what she really wants is to be a witch. She might need some witch magic fast, though, when the Queen of Faerie steals her little brother away! With a piece of string, a borrowed toad, a cast-iron pan, and the Nac Mac Feegle, a clan of six-inch-tall Pictsies, Tiffany will have to dare going into fairyland itself if she’s going to make things right again. With a complex plot full of metaphors about growing up — and plenty of humor along the way — you’ll be eager to follow Tiffany on future adventures! Tiffany’s story continues in A Hat Full Of Sky, Wintersmith, I Shall Wear Midnight, and Terry Pratchett's final Discworld novel, The Shepherd's Crown.
Creel's aunt is desperate to tie her family to royalty, so she dumps Creel in front of the local dragon in hopes that she'll be rescued by the local prince! Instead, Creel rejects the haughty prince and befriends the dragon, who gifts her a pair of slippers which only seem to be ordinary. As she sets off to forge her own path using her talent for embroidery, little does Creel know that these far-from-ordinary slippers could save the kingdom or destroy it. With its spirited and independent-minded heroine, this charming story, full of vivid descriptions of everything from Creel's "fancywork" to the rough streets of the King's Seat, will delight middle grade readers. Creel's story continues in Dragon Flight and Dragon Spear.
When their small mining village is deemed to be the location of the future princess, Miri and the other teenaged girls are sent to an academy set up by the king’s ministers, where they will learn how to be “proper” princesses before the prince comes to choose one of them as his wife. At first, Miri only has to face the strict, condescending academy mistress and the bitter competition among the girls hoping to be chosen, but when bandits find the academy, determined to kidnap the future princess, Miri has to rally the girls to work together and use her newly discovered power to communicate silently to save herself and all her classmates. Miri’s story also continues in the sequels, Princess Academy: Palace of Stone and Princess Academy: The Forgotten Sisters.
11-year-old Nan Sparrow is a 'climbing boy,' an orphan owned by a chimney sweep to do the dirty, dangerous work of cleaning flues in Victorian London. But, Nan isn't a boy and she's quite possibly the best chimney climber who ever lived, beating the odds again and again... until the day she's trapped in a chimney fire. When she wakes up safe in an attic, she discovers that she was saved by a mysterious creature — a golem — made from ash and coal. Together, the two outcasts will need to evade Nan's abusive boss and figure out how to create a better life in a world that's quick to label differences as monstrous. Told by master storyteller Jonathan Auxier, this powerful and heartwarming tale explores the search for home and family, in whatever form they take.
Morrigan Crow was born cursed, on the unluckiest day of the year. It means she's blamed for every bit of bad luck anywhere in her community — and that she's doomed to die on her eleventh birthday. But just as Morrigan is reconciling herself to her short and misfortune-filled life, a mysterious man named Jupiter North sweeps her off to Nevermoor, a magical city, where she will compete against hundreds of other children for a place in the prestigious Wundrous Society. All of those children have extraordinary abilities, which Morrigan thinks she's lacking...but if she can find a way to pass the tests, she can stay in Nevermoor and finally escape her fate. Full of adventure and whimsy, tween and teen readers won't want to miss this new series.
After tragedy strikes their family, Emily and Navin’s mother Karen decides to move the family to their great-grandfather’s house in the little town of Norlen. The locals believe the house is haunted, but the family discounts the rumors — until Karen is kidnapped by a monster! Emily and Navin discover they will have to follow her into another world if they want to reunite their family. Along the way, Emily discovers a stone amulet and learns that she has powers she didn’t know she possessed. This box set collects the first seven volumes of this popular and critically-acclaimed graphic novel series. And don't forget to pick up the much anticipated eighth volume, Supernova.
For hundreds of years, a small group of Elders have ruled the Protectorate by terrorizing its citizens with stories of a witch who will destroy the community if a baby is not left in the forest for her once a year. A witch does live in the forest — but she is a kind and gentle witch named Xan, who rescues the abandoned babies. One year, however, she accidentally feeds a rescued baby moonlight instead of starlight. The moonlight fills the child with powerful magic, and for her safety, Xan decides to raise this special child, Luna, as her own. As Luna approaches her 13th birthday, her magic begins to grow in new and unpredictable ways. With her coming of age, Luna will face new challenges to protect the people she loves and bring renewed hope to the lives of those around her.
People in town think Meg is a loose cannon, her brother Charles Wallace is dumb, and her father ran off and left their scientist mother — but Meg doesn’t believe a word of any of it. So when an unexpected stranger appears in their kitchen and tells Meg about a tesseract — the “wrinkle in time” which her father was researching for the government — Meg decides to set off through space and time to find him. Her adventures with Charles Wallace and neighbor Calvin will require all of their strengths to accomplish! A Wrinkle in Time is the first of a quintet of science fiction classics, which are also available in a box set. Fans of the book can also check out the graphic novel adaptation by Hope Larson.
12-year-old Mina's home of Alorria enjoys beautiful weather, thanks to the storm beasts and their bonded human guardians, who ensure the climate stays warm and pleasant. Mina is eager to have a storm beast of her own, but everyone is shocked when she hatches a lightning beast: lightning guardians are normally "brash and loud and brave." Mina may be quiet, but she is brave, which she proves when she and Pixit, her lightning beast, discover that her country's weather comes at a terrible price. A unique fantasy setting and appealing dragon-like storm beasts will leave readers wishing they could leap into Mina's world. For another compelling middle grade fantasy from this author, check out The Stone Girl's Story for ages 9 to 13.
It’s 1899 and 12-year-old Serafina lives with her pa in the basement of the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, where the most important rule has always been that no one can know she’s there. But when children start disappearing, Serafina knows the culprit: the mysterious man in a black cloak she’s seen stalking the estate’s halls. With the help of the estate owners’ nephew, Braeden, Serafina must find a way to reveal the man’s true identity. In the process, she will learn secrets about a legacy of magic and discover who she really is. Fans of this book will also want to check out the sequels, Serafina and the Twisted Staff and Serafina and the Splintered Heart. All three are also now available in a new box set.
Lailu Loganberry is a chef with a dangerous specialty: monster cuisine. That means she has to hunt and slay the monsters in question herself — what chef will settle for less than the freshest ingredients? When her mentor opens a new restaurant, with Lailu as head chef, she's thrilled...until she learns that he got his funds from Mr. Boss, a notorious loan shark, and if they can't pay him back, she'll be stuck cooking for him for the rest of her life. Lailu didn't want to be in the middle of a conflict starring Mr. Boss' crew, the elf mafia, and a royal assassin, and she certainly didn't want to have to call on Greg, her rival, for help, but she's always said: if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen! This fun story with just the right mix of action and humor, set in a diverse and enjoyable fantasy world, will be particularly appealing to would-be chefs with a taste for adventure.
Maggie thinks of herself as an ordinary girl — until she meets a dragon named Grisha in her hometown of Vienna. The world has forgotten how to see dragons like him, but Maggie and he soon strike up an unlikely friendship. But they also have a mystery to solve: at the beginning of World War II, someone — or something — imprisoned most of the dragons. Together, Grisha and Maggie must find out where the missing dragons are... and how to save them. A quiet novel that hints at everyday magic all around us (if only we know how to look), this atmospheric story explores what it means to find your place in the world.
The woods of Briery Swamp fit May Bird like a fuzzy mitten, and keep her safe from the taunts of children at school who don't understand her. But one day, when she falls in the lake, she emerges into an unexpected new world — one that's far from warm and fuzzy. And if she doesn't get out fast, horrifyingly evil Bo Cleevil will turn her into nothing. This offbeat fantasy, the first of a trilogy is scary, fanciful, and truly suspenseful. Fans of this story also get The May Bird Trilogy box set with more books in this fun series.
In a desperate attempt to escape the bullying at her school, Nita takes refuge in the library — and finds a book that will change her life. It's shelved along with other career books, but instead of So You Want To Be A Pilot or So You Want To Be A Scientist, this one says, So You Want To Be A Wizard. At first she thinks it's a joke, but when she takes the book out and follows the steps, she discovers she has magical abilities! She soon discovers another boy, Kit, who has also stumbled across the book -- and it's not long before they're on a quest to save a friend...and the world. Likeable main characters who wrestle with both real-world and magical problems make this series a winner. Fans of this book can continue the series with Deep Wizardry.
Princess Cimorene has no interest in being a proper princess, so instead of waiting to be kidnapped by a dragon, she runs away and makes a bargain with one — and not just any dragon, but Kazul, one of the most powerful and dangerous dragons! Soon, to the great confusion of the princes who come to rescue her, she sends them all packing and settles into her new life among the dragons. Fortunately for Kazul, Cimorene also manages to help unearth the wizards’ plot against the dragons in time to stop it... for now. Fantasy fans will love reading about how Cimorene finds life, love, and family, all on her own terms. Readers can also check out the Enchanted Forest Chronicles box set, which includes all four books in the series.
Willa's Faeran clan once acted as stewards of the Great Smoky Mountains, but their numbers are declining, and under their current leader, the padaran, their old ways of foraging and caretaking are forbidden. Instead, he directs children like Willa to steal from human homesteaders, who she has been taught to despise. But when she is wounded breaking into a cabin one night, she's shocked when a human man tries to help her. And, when she discovers the padaran imprisoning human children, she begins to question everything about her society and its leader. Willa will have to stand up to evil around her with compassion and strength if she is going to save her people. This powerful story from the author of the best-selling Serafina series is full of magic, adventure, and hope.
Ani is the Crown Princess of Kildenree, but she feels most comfortable speaking to animals; she has the gift of speaking in their own languages. As she grows, she never becomes confident speaking with people — which leaves her helpless when a quick-talking lady in waiting leads a mutiny on Ani's journey to get married in a foreign land. Alone and seemingly helpless, Ani becomes a goose girl for the king...and finds a way to turn her special talents to reclaiming her position and stopping war between the kingdoms. This magical story of suspense and adventure is one of three stories in the Books of Bayern series.
Sophie is the eldest of three daughters, and believes she is destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking the spell lies in the Wizard Howl's ever-moving castle in the hills. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the seemingly heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there's far more to Howl — and herself — than first meets the eye. Diana Wynne-Jones' magical book, which inspired the Academy Award nominated Studio Ghibli film, is inventive and full of wonder. Fans of this book should also check out the sequel, House of Many Ways.
Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and had an ordinary life until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September meets a Green Wind who invites her on an adventure to Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. With the help of new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday, September is the only one who can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods. But will September be able to return home, or will she find herself bound to Fairyland forever? Catherynne M. Valente's unique and original Fairyland books, featuring illustrations by Ana Juan, have the same timeless quality as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. To see all five volumes from the series, visit our Fairyland Collection.
Lyra Belacqua is content to run wild among the scholars of Jodan College, with her daemon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle — a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armored bears. And as she hurtles toward danger in the cold far North, Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: she alone is destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle. The first book of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy tackles deep philosophical issues, as well as questions about love, loyalty, and loss. The trilogy has also been reissued with new cover art in the His Dark Materials Boxed Set.
Aerin is the king of Damar’s only child; she should be his heir, but because her mother was a witchwoman from the North, Damarians don’t trust her. Ultimately, in order to save her people, Aerin must embrace her destiny by confronting the Black Dragon and an evil sorcerer who has stolen Damar's source of strength, the Hero's Crown. This Newbery Award-winning novel features a complex and daring main character and an intriguing fantasy world. Fans of this book can also check out the sequel, The Blue Sword.
Alanna has always dreamed of adventurous deeds, something denied to girls in Tortall, while her brother Thom yearns to learn magical arts. So when they’re sent off to learn their trades, the pair decide to trade places: Thom goes to the convent, while Alanna sets off to become a page — and eventually, she hopes, a knight. “Alan” finds it easier than expected to conceal who she really is, and quickly impresses those around her with her determination. But she’s haunted by visions of an evil city, and she wonders whether she can keep her gender a secret and whether she will falter or finally achieve her destiny. The first of the Song of the Lioness quartet, this book will delight fantasy fans, who can also get the whole series in The Song of the Lioness Box Set.
Thirteen-year-old Daine has always had a knack with animals, but it's not until she's forced to leave home that she realizes it's more than a knack — it's magic. With this wild magic, not only can Daine speak to animals, but also she can make them obey her. Daine takes a job handling horses for the Queen's Riders, where she meets the master mage Numair and becomes his student. But soon she begins to sense other beings too: immortals, bloodthirsty monsters have been imprisoned for four hundred years. Now someone has broken the barrier, and it's up to Daine and her friends to defend their world from an immortal attack. Another thrilling series from fantasy author Tamora Pierce, The Immortals will have readers on the edge of their seats. Fans of the series can also get new editions with exquisite new cover art in the Immortals Quartet Box Set.
Ansul was once full of libraries, temples, and schools — but when this peaceful city was conquered, its new rulers declared reading and writing punishable by death. The only place 17-year-old Memer feels safe is the Oracle House, the last place housing surviving books and a place most people think is inhabited by demons. But when an Uplands poet named Orrec and his wife, Gry, arrive, Memer starts to question everything. Why should Ansul bow to their oppressors? And what is so dangerous about the written word, anyway? Vivid and thought-provoking, teens will marvel at Ursula K. Leguin's gift for world-building.
12-year-old Sunny was born in America but lives in Nigeria, and her African features and albino skin leave her feeling like an outsider no matter where she goes. The talented athlete can't even play the sports she loves because she can't go out into the sun. But when she discovers that she one of the magical Leopard People, it opens the door to a new world. With the help of her new friends, other students of magic, she faces her biggest challenge yet: catching Black Hat Otokoto, a serial killer and magic user who targets the very playgrounds where Sunny feels left out... This thrilling fantasy combines day-to-day triumphs with magic and mystery to pulse-pounded effect! Fans of this book can follow Sunny's adventures in the second volume, Akata Warrior.
Lee Westfall has a secret: she can sense when gold is near. She's used her talent frugally, to help her ailing parents through tough winters — but everything falls apart when her parents are murdered, her best friend — maybe more — leaves for the California gold rush, and her uncle tries to claim her parents' property, including her and her talent, for himself. To escape, Lee disguises herself as a boy and sets out by train for California, hoping that there she can find a way to be herself. With a mix of historic obstacles — everything from hunger and illness to buffalo stampedes — and fantasy ones — keeping her gold-finding abilities a secret — this first volume of the Gold Seer Trilogy features a fast-paced story and an appealing, determined main character. Fans of the first book can check out the other two volumes, Like A River Glorious and Into The Bright Unknown.
Anne McCaffrey's beloved Harper Hall trilogy introduces readers to Menolly — and her nine fire lizards, miniature versions of the dragons that sear Pern's skies of deadly Thread! When Menolly flees a restrictive home and family who refuse to let her pursue her love of music, she stumbles across a clutch of fire lizard eggs, even though the creatures are considered a myth by most people of Pern. When she finds herself bonded to nine of the hatchlings, she has no idea that they will help lead her to a respected place in the Harper Hall as a rare journeywoman! Anyone who has dreamed of a pet dragon of their own will love following Menolly's adventures with her beloved fire lizards.
In the Discworld, there are clear rules for everything, and that's why a dying wizard goes in search of the eighth son of an eighth son to pass on his powers — in a bit of a hurry, since Death is coming in six minutes. Unfortunately, the midwife discovers a little too late that the baby is actually a girl... but what's done can't be undone. Young Eski's power needs to be channeled, and despite celebrated witch Granny Weatherwax's efforts, that means attending the all-male Unseen University. But who ever heard of a girl wizard? And when an arcane danger threatens, can Eski muster the magical power she needs to save the day? Fans of author Terry Pratchett's wry humor and biting satire will enjoy this book, which also marks the first appearance of the cantankerous and beloved witch Granny Weatherwax.
In the kingdom of Goredd, rational, mathematical dragons, who can take humanoid form, have long warred against their human counterparts. There has been four decades of unsettled peace, but tensions are running high when Seraphina, a gifted musician, joins the court just before a member of the royal family is murdered — apparently by a dragon. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation and faces a desperate struggle: she must prevent a war by finding the killer — without revealing the secret of her connection to both sides of the conflict. This engrossing, complex fantasy world full of politics and conspiracy is sure to fascinate teens and adults alike. Fans of Seraphina can continue the story in the sequel, Shadow Scale.
Army brat Lois Lane is starting a new life — again — in Metropolis, and she's determined to stay quiet, fly straight, and blend in. But things aren't that easy: at her new school, a group called the Warheads is messing with another girl's mind through some sort of high tech video game they all play. Lois can't let it stand, so with her wit, her brand new reporter's credentials, and the help of mysterious online friend, Smallville Guy, she's determined to get to the bottom of things. This creative reimagining of classic DC character Lois Lane is first in a series; to continue her story, check out the second volume, Lois Lane: Double Down, too!
Before Alice fell down a rabbit hole, there was a girl who wanted to fall in love... Catherine is one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King of Hearts. And yet all she wants is to open a baker's shop with her best friend, something her mother refuses to allow. Then Cath meets Jest, the court joker, and they secretly begin a courtship. If they are discovered, the king will be furious and her parents will be appalled, but Cath is determined to make her own way. But will fate be so easy to evade? This fascinating fractured fairy tale explores how the mad Queen of Hearts from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland came to be.
Sent to a boarding school in Ancelstierre as a young child, Sabriel has had little experience with the power of Free Magic or the Dead who refuse to stay dead in the Old Kingdom. But during her final semester, her father, the Abhorsen, goes missing, and Sabriel knows she must enter the Old Kingdom to find him. With the help of new friends, she'll travel deep into the lands of the Dead but every step brings them closer to a battle that will pit them against the true forces of life and death and bring Sabriel face-to-face with her own destiny. The first book of the Abhorsen Trilogy established Garth Nix as a force in young adult fantasy, and the remainder of the series does not disappoint. All three books are available together in The Abhorsen Trilogy Box Set.
Nimona is a young shapeshifter who’s eager to turn her remarkable talent into a career as a supervillain’s dastardly sidekick! So when she meets Lord Ballister Blackheart, a sinister man with a vendetta, it seems like the perfect match. Together, they will prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his Institute of Law Enforcement aren’t the noble heroes everyone thinks they are. And, Nimona’s ferocious shapeshifting abilities are just what's needed to tip the scales of this ongoing rivalry! This clever and funny collection of issues from Stevenson’s webcomic — which has been called "a mash-up of medieval culture with modern science and technology" — also includes exclusive material, as well as conceptual sketches.
In the city of Canaan, every twelve years there is a Forgetting: every person's memories are lost, simultaneously, and the only facts preserved are the ones people write down about themselves. Each person writes their memories in a book... but those writing could lie. Nadia has a secret: she does not forget. When she starts using her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she begins to discover truths that would rock the foundations of the city. With the anarchy of the Forgetting approaching, and an unseen army threatening everything she loves, she must try to find a way to ensure people remember — and act on — the truth. A fascinating world with a chilling dystopian concept, this novel will get teens thinking about truth and memory in a new way. Fans of the original volume can check out the newly released second book in the series, The Knowing.
Elloren Gardner is the descendant of Carnissa Gardner, the last Black Witch of prophecy who drove back the enemy's forces during the Realm War... but Elloren has none of her grandmother's powers, a major failing in a culture that prizes magical power above everything. She dreams of being an apothecary, and a spot at the prestigious Verpax University seems the perfect opportunity to step out of the shadow of her grandmother's legacy. But Verpax is a dangerous place for the Black Witch's descendant, and protests against Gardneria's government are bringing conflict to the fore. To survive, Elloren will have to lean on Verpax's other outcasts — including members of races she's been taught to hate and fear. This complex story explores fascism and xenophobia in an extraordinarily detailed universe. Elloren's story continues in The Iron Flower.
The Red Star is appearing on the horizon, but only a few of the people of Pern still believe the stories of deadly Thread falling from the sky. The dragonriders, Pern's defense against Thread, have dwindled in number, and the populace is completely unprepared. Lessa, the lone queen dragonrider, heeds the stories, and with her weyrmate F'lar, she is determined to find a solution to save her world. It will take every bit of her strong will — and the courage to attempt an untested ability of her dragon — to fill the Weyrs again in time for Thread's arrival. All three of Anne McCaffrey's original Pern books are collected in this volume, perfect to introduce new readers to the series.
In Katsa’s world, the lucky few discover a Grace, a remarkable talent for anything from dancing to swimming to poetry. But in Katsa’s case, her Grace is fighting — and killing. As the King’s niece, she is forced to use her talent on those who oppose him, but she’s not willing to be the King’s thug. Instead, she forms a secret Council to aid those who seek justice. Graces are not always what they appear to be; is it possible that Katsa can turn her seemingly destructive Grace to good use? Fans of this inventive fantasy debut will enjoy checking out the sequels, Fire and Bitterblue.
Nix was born in Honolulu in 1868, but on her father's magical ship, which can travel to places both real and imagined, she's been to mythical Scandinavia, modern-day New York City, and everywhere in between. As long as he has a map, her father can sail the ship to any time or place. But when he finds a map to 1868 Honolulu — before Nix's mother died in childbirth — nobody has any idea what will happen to Nix if her father manages to change the past. If she helps him reunite with his true love, will it cost her own life — and her own chance at love? This fast-moving novel puts a new twist on the classic time-travel story. Nix's adventures continue in the sequel, The Ship Beyond Time.
Orphan Elisabeth has been raised in one of Austermeer's Great Libraries, where the wardens ensure that magical grimoires — the only thing holding evil beings back from the world — stay protected from the evil sorcerers who would do anything to free them. When she stumbles across the Library's slain director and a freed monster, she takes up the director's sword to defeat it and accidentally implicates herself in the crime. Now she finds herself having to collaborate with Nathaniel Thorn, a notorious sorcerer, and his demonic servant if she wants to save the Libraries and the world. And that challenges everything she knows about sorcerers, the Libraries, and herself. Action-packed and suspenseful, this imaginative fantasy will thrill young adult readers.
Paksenarrion was born a sheepfarmer’s daughter, but her destiny is as a Paladin, a holy defender of justice and good. After running away to join a mercenary company, Paks discovers her calling as a swordswoman. As she perfects the art of battle, she also recognizes that her first commander, Duke Kieri Phelan, is the rightful king. Convincing the world of that, though, will be no easy task. Paks will have to fight — and sacrifice — in order to see a good man take the throne. This epic fantasy story collects all three volumes of Moon’s original saga, and readers will love following Paks as she goes from being a naive teenager to a battle-hardened, righteous warrior.
In the world of the Spire, a trip to the Continent to watch the violence of two nations perpetually at war is a thrilling gift; for 16-year-old apprentice cartographer Vaela Sun, it holds more appeal as a chance to perfect her maps of this icy country. But as she flies above the battle, Vaela is horrified by the realities of war — and when an accident leaves her stranded, she must survive the elements, then live with the Continent's residents — and face both her prejudices and her privilege head on. Readers will root for Vaela as she she seeks a way to her old home that could help her new one.
17-year-old Alosa is a swaggering captain of her own, mostly female, pirate crew, with the courage and cleverness to take on any pirate... and a magical ability to subdue any man to draw on when she needs. But when her father, the Pirate King, charges her with fetching a map from another ship, she allows herself to be captured only to find that she may have met her match: the first mate, Riden, who is more than able to hold his own in a game of wits. Their constant parry and riposte slowly develops into attraction, leaving the rivals feeling increasingly drawn to one another — but that leaves Alosa with a difficult decision to make. Full of adventure, humor, and romance, this book will leave teen readers eager for the swashbuckling sequel, Daughter of the Siren Queen.
In Sempera, time is currency — and taxes allow the rich, like the Gerlings, to cut short the poor's lives to lengthen their own. Jules Ember and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings' estate, until they fled ten years ago... but now her father is dying, and the only way to save him is to earn him more time. When she returns to Everless, though, Jules finds she still has feelings for Roan Gerling — and still fears his brother, Liam. She also discovers a shocking secret, one that she must get to Sempera's queen... at any cost. This complex story full of palace intrigue and self-discovery elegantly displays the dark cracks underneath Everless' beauty — ones which the daring Jules must break wide open.
The once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold...and its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything, but when her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life — a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha and the secrets of her heart. Innovative and powerful, this trilogy is sure to be a hit. Make sure to follow the rest of Alina's story in Siege and Storm and Ruin and Rising.
When Zélie Adebola was a child, her home of Orïsha was full of magic... until a ruthless king ordered the maji killed, including Zélie's mother, a Reaper who summoned souls. Now, with the help of a rogue princess, Zélie has the chance to bring magic back to Orïsha and rebel against the brutal monarchy. But as she discovers feeling for an enemy and struggles to control her own powers, Zélie will have to learn to embrace who she is — and prepare herself to fight injustice, whatever the cost. This stunning series opener features compelling characters and world-altering choices in a setting inspired by West African mythology.
Thad and Ari Glavan are illegitimate children of the king of Sundraille, and they expect to live their lives in obscurity — until their mother is murdered, the whole royal family dies mysteriously, Thad ascends to the throne, and the streets are overrun with violence. When Thad starts training a reluctant Ari to be his successor, he reveals the truth: he was tricked by a fae Wish Granter named Alistair Teague into trading his soul and the safety of the kingdom in exchange for the crown. Determined to stop Teague, Ari recruits Sebastian Vaughn, the enigmatic weapons master who has connections to Teague's criminal empire. But with Teague ready to ensnare Ari just as he ensnared Thad, is she clever enough to save the kingdom... and her soul? Thrilling and complex, this novel will keep her turning pages to the end.
Six years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell traveled to a fantastical world called the Woodlands, and lived there for years — and then returned home to their lives in post-World War II England. Adjusting to a normal life after the Woodlands has been a struggle for both: Ev desperately wants to return, while Philippa would rather forget and move on. And when Ev goes missing, Philippa confronts a painful question of whether Ev found a way back to the home she missed — or if despair destroyed her in the real world. This novel about sisterhood, healing, and finding the place you belong is both poignant and beautiful.
Caroline's family have all been wherrymen, so she's sure she will be too... but at 17, she still hasn't heard the voice of the river god. So when pirates burn several wherries and her smuggler father is arrested, Caro makes a bid to get him out (and maybe win the god's attention): she volunteers to transport a highborn young man named Tarquin Meredios who says he's a royal courier. But soon Caro learns that not all is as it seems, and she'll have to choose what's most important to her -- and what path she see for her future. This first book in a series is the perfect mix of sea voyage, romance, and adventure.
Two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death as witches... and ever since then, the town of Sparrow has been cursed. Each summer, the sisters steal the bodies of three girls and lure boys into the harbor to drown them. 17-year-old Penny Talbot considers this just part of life in Sparrow until Bo Carter arrives. Bo doesn't understand the danger he's in, or why Penny seems so secretive... but he is hiding secrets as well. As Penny faces the choice to save Bo or herself, readers see flashbacks of the sisters' lives... and deaths. Teens will eagerly turn pages of this atmospheric and eerie read.
Jetta's family are famous shadow players... but the truth is that Jetta has the ability to see the souls of the recent dead, and bind them to the family's puppets. It's a secret she must keep carefully, because the old magical ways have been forbidden — but if Jetta can get to perform for the emperor, she might find a cure for illness that plagues her. However, rebellion is simmering and Jetta is discovering more and more dark truths, both about her family and about the horrors of war. This lush fantasy, the opener to a trilogy set in a rich world inspired by Asian cultures and French colonialism, boasts vibrant settings, a diverse cast, and an intriguing heroine struggling with mental illness.
When Jude was seven, her parents were murdered and she and her sisters were taken to the High Court of Faerie. Now, ten years later, Jude is determined to earn a place at the court by becoming a knight. However, many fae hate humans like her — particularly Prince Cardan, the High King's wickedest son. But as palace intrigues mount and civil war threatens, Jude must make a risky alliance to keep her sisters safe... and perhaps, save the High Court and all of Faerie. Dark and absorbing, with a world of playfully blood-thirsty fey antagonists, this series opener stars a determined and truly dangerous heroine.
With her father, the local moneylender, unable to collect his debts, Miryem and her parents are left on the edge of poverty — until she takes matters into her own hands. She soon develops a reputation for turning silver into gold, but an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk, the grim fey who appear more ice than flesh. He gives Miryem an impossible challenge, one that quickly entangles a local peasant girl and the unhappy young woman set to marry the tsar. The unlikely allies will have to find the power to change their fates if they hope to save their world and their own lives. This brilliant feminist reimagining of Rumpelstiltskin, by the author of the best-selling Uprooted, masterfully explores prejudice, love, and sacrifice through the stories of three courageous young women.